An Asian startup handset manufacturer with roots deep in the British-based operator O2 and its handset subsidiary has started selling phones in the United States, with its initial entry a pricey, unlocked Windows Mobile-based handset sold mainly over the Internet.
The handset, called the Zinc II, comes from the Mobile and Wireless Group (MWg), formed last November by the former management of O2 Asia. The Singapore-based company launched its first phone, the Atom V, last February in its home country. In May, it launched the Atom V and Zinc II in Europe.
Both phones are Windows Mobile 6.1 handsets with heritage from the old O2 XDA brand. They’re W-CDMA/HSDPA models with built-in GPS. The quad-band Zinc II has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a Quick Menu that allows users to tap graphic icons on the screen as well as use their fingers to drag across the screen. The phone also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
MWg is selling the phone at $749 through online e-tailers and retailers, including J&R, Datavision, RCS Experience, PCMall, Expansys and Mobilecityonline. The company said it plans as many as five more models this year.